This blog first appeared on the Floodplain Meadows Partnership website here. Our traditional floodplain hay meadows are a haven for biodiversity, but they are also part of our agricultural landscape and depend on the annual cycle of haymaking and aftermath grazing to maintain their value. These meadows show characteristic seasonal patterns of growth and floweringContinue reading “Working with seasonal growth on floodplain meadows”
Burnet: A most precious herb, the continual use of it preserves the body in health and the spirit in vigour. Culpeper Great burnet (Sanguisorba officianalis) is a stately denizen of our floodplain meadows – a larger cousin to the more diminutive salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) that you might find in upland calcareous grasslands or asContinue reading “Burnet and Blue”
This poster was produced for the Open University 2021 Poster Competition and delightfully won both the People’s Choice Poster and the Judge’s Choice Best Use of Imagery categories. Captain Quad Rat and I are very pleased! You can download this from Open Research Data Online.
Haymaking has changed dramatically over the last century and is set to change again under new agricultural legislation. Where once the aim was simply to preserve a good yield of summer sunshine to last the winter, the focus up now is increasingly on achieving an optimum balance between producing healthful fodder whilst also promoting biodiversityContinue reading “Fifties Family Farming”
PhD researcher, Vicky Bowskill, explains how meadow flowers are able to thrive, despite being mown for hay every summer. Further reading: Video: Yarnton and the importance of haymakingwww.floodplainmeadows.org.ukHaymaking is critical to our heritage hay meadows, but is later really better? Transcript This is a floodplain meadow. It’s mid-July and you can see that the swardContinue reading “Video: How hay makes meadows”
This week marks the end of my first year as a PhD student, my first year in Milton Keynes, my first field season and a number of other personal milestones, all set against the backdrop of a global pandemic. What a ride!
This video was filmed during data collection in June and July 2020. PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, demonstrates how she is sampling floodplain meadow hay to investigate the way nutritional content changes, depending on when it is harvested. This can help land managers to maintain healthy meadows, whilst also providing a balanced diet for pasture-fed livestock.Continue reading “Video: The Art of Hay Sampling”
This video was recorded shortly before National Meadows Day on 04 July 2020. Meadows are a fantastic place to see an abundance of wildlife, but they’re not as wild as you might think; they’re an ancient part of our agricultural landscape that has evolved from the need to produce hay to feed to livestock. But,Continue reading “Video: Yarnton Mead and the importance of haymaking”
This article appeared on the FAI Farm blog in August 2020. Read the original article here. Meadows are a fantastic place to see an abundance of wildlife, but they’re not as wild as you might think; they’re an ancient part of our agricultural landscape that has evolved from the need to produce hay to feedContinue reading “Floodplain meadows are not as wild as you might think”
This article was posted on the Open University News page for National Meadows Day on 04 July 2020. Read the original article here. As the haymaking season begins, an OU PhD student is researching the importance of getting the timing of hay cutting right. Vicky Bowskill, a PhD student in the OU’s Faculty of Science,Continue reading “Make meadow hay while the sun shines, but when?”